Yes We Can

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“Yes We Can”
“Yes We Can” cover
Single by Barack Obama and featuring Various Artists
Released February 2, 2008 (YouTube, Dipdive)
Recorded Ether and Record Plant, Los Angeles, January 31, 2008
Writer(s), Barack Obama, Jon Favreau (speechwriter) George Pajon Jr
Producer singles chronology
"Here I Come"
"Yes We Can"
"We Are the Ones"

"Yes We Can" is a collage-style music video inspired by US President Barack Obama's popularization of the slogan "Yes we can." During the 2008 US presidential campaign following the New Hampshire Democratic Primary, then-Senator (now President) Barack Obama, used the English translation of the United Farm Workers slogan "Sí, se puede" (Spanish for "Yes, it can be done"[1]) in his speech. The slogan dates back to 1972 when Cesar Chavez and the UFW's co-founder, Dolores Huerta, came up with the slogan during Chavez's 24 day fast in Phoenix. Arizona.[1]

The song was released on February 2, 2008, by the Black Eyed Peas member on and also on under the username 'WeCan08'.[1] It was honored with the first-ever Emmy Award for Best New Approaches in Daytime Entertainment.[2] The term "Yes We Can!" became a secondary slogan for Obama's campaign.


[edit] Production

Although the lyrics are entirely quotations from Obama's concession speech in the New Hampshire presidential primary,[3] the Obama campaign had no involvement in its production.[4] The viral music video, shot in a sparse black-and-white, features Obama's image in collage fashion; the performers (celebrities including musicians, singers and actors) echo his words in a hip-hop, call-and-response manner as his voice plays in the background. The song was produced by; the music video was directed by Jesse Dylan, the son of singer Bob Dylan.[5] The music video (which Joe Klein of Time later characterized as "brilliant")[3] premiered on the national media on ABC News Now's What's the Buzz entertainment program on February 1, 2008.[5] On February 2, 2008, it was featured on the Obama campaign's community blog,[6] and later promoted as a viral video by the campaign on its website.[7] The clip was played prior to a February 12, 2008, campaign rally of nearly 20,000 at the Kohl Center on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison[citation needed].

Executive Producers:, Mike Jurkovac, Fred Goldring, Jesse Dylan, Priscilla Cohen and Sheri Howell and Lilo. Associate Producers: Sean Larkin, Sarah Pantera, Carol Cohen, Steve Koskie, Wendi Morris and Scott Spanjich.

[edit] Release

Since the original posting on YouTube, the video has been re-posted a number of times by other users and as of February 23, 2008, the video had been watched a combined total of more than 22-million times among all of the postings. It had also been viewed more than 4 million times on Dipdive, for a combined web total of more than 26-million viewings. By July 22, 2008, the video had been watched over 21-million times on YouTube and other sites.[8] The video also won a Webby Award for "Artist of the Year".[9] It was criticized, however, by conservative commentators for being over-the-top and worshipful.[10][11] However it did not fail to inspire across the globe, more recently a video post entitled "Yes We Can", by Uk Rapper JSB talks of the current economical climate and the issues the world face today.[12]

John Legend and performed the song on the final day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention at INVESCO Field, Denver, Colorado.[13]

[edit] Guest appearances

The following celebrities were featured in the video (time indicates first appearance on the official version):[14]

[edit] Parodies

  • It also inspired the spoof songs "" and "No You Can't" satirizing the Republican candidate John McCain.[15].
  • Another parody, created by Attack of the Show!, replaces Obama with the G.I. Joe villain Cobra Commander.[16]
  • It inspired yet another parody on "Best Week Ever," which made fun of Lindsay Lohan for an online interview in which she both allegedly called the president "colored" and discussed her collection of leggings.[17]
  • "Yes I Can", which was created by MADtv, replaces Obama and artists with "Kim Jong-Il and Friends".

[edit] References

  1. ^ YouTube (2008). Yes We Can - Barack Obama Music Video. Retrieved February 3, 2008.
  2. ^ Video Awarded Emmy(R) for New Approaches in Daytime Entertainment. Emmy for 'Yes We Can' Song. Retrieved February 3, 2008.
  3. ^ a b Inspiration vs. Substance - TIME
  4. ^ Huffington Post (2008). Obama's Star-Studded YouTube Music Video. Retrieved February 11, 2008.
  5. ^ a b ABC News (2008). New Celeb-Filled Music Video for Obama. Retrieved February 3, 2008.
  6. ^ Obama for America (2008). The 'Yes We Can' Song. Retrieved February 3, 2008.
  7. ^ Obama for America (2008). Share this video and invite your friends to join our movement. Retrieved February 5, 2008.
  8. ^ Stelter, Brian (2008-03-27). "Finding Political News Online, the Young Pass It On". The New York Times. Retrieved on 2008-03-28. 
  9. ^ Greene, Brittany (2008-05-06). " Wins a Webby". Retrieved on 2008-05-06. 
  10. ^ Taranto, James (2008-02-07). "Obama, a Love Story". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved on 2008-08-02. 
  11. ^ Stein, Joel (2008-02-08). "He's got Obamaphilia". Los Angeles Times.,0,3418234.column. Retrieved on 2008-08-02. 
  12. ^ JSB [, JSB-Yes We Can.
  13. ^ Stirland, Sarah Lai (2008-08-28). "Will.I.Am: From Online Video To Convention Floor". Retrieved on 2008-08-29. 
  14. ^ (2008). Credits. Retrieved February 6, 2008.
  15. ^ Obama Video Spawns McCain Spoofs - News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News
  16. ^ YouTube - "Yes, We Shall" Music Video - Vote Cobra '08
  17. ^ [1] "BWE Preview: Lindsay Lohan on Leggings" show clip

[edit] External links

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